• December 10, 2019

Top tips to make a plant-based diet more flavorful - Odessa American: Senior Living

e-Edition Subscribe

Top tips to make a plant-based diet more flavorful

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 11:01 am

(BPT) - If you’re trying to eat more veggies and you're encouraging your kids to do the same, you may struggle with making meals tasty enough to tempt even the pickiest eaters in your family. The struggle is real! But don’t worry, there are plenty of options that are plant-based, healthy and delicious. Start exploring a few new meal options, and you’ll be surprised how great eating a plant-based diet can taste and make you feel.

Start with veggies

Instead of planning the meal around the protein, add the protein as an accompaniment to the vegetables.

Most of us were brought up to think of a meal as an entree of meat surrounded by a few vegetables or starches as side dishes. Instead, start with a veggie or two, then pick a protein that goes well with those veggies to add to the mix. Try a pan of roasted mixed veggies combined with plant-based proteins. If you use veggies that have substantial protein content, you’re off to a great start. For example, green peas, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and even corn and potatoes offer plenty of protein.

Either use recipes that already include a plant-based protein like tofu, lentils, quinoa, nuts or any kind of bean, or consider swapping the chicken or ground meat in a recipe for those options. Casseroles, soups, stews and salads are a great place to start.

Dining in and taking out healthfully

Look for restaurants offering a wide variety of veggie-based meal options instead of just one or two veggie sides or salads. If your children are selective about their menu choices, a restaurant willing to substitute items can be your best ally.

For example, Noodles & Company offers plant-based options and will customize meals to suit your — and your child's — tastes, preferences and dietary restrictions. You can order dishes with Zoodles, which are noodles made from fresh zucchini hand-spiralized in-restaurant daily, or choose the new Caulifloodles — cauliflower-infused pasta — to increase the veggie content of any meal. A regular-sized bowl of Caulifloodles boasts one full serving of vegetables, and are a great way to sneak extra veggies into your kids' meals.

Great new choices on the Noodles menu include Cauliflower Rigatoni in Light Onion Cream Sauce, served with roasted zucchini, mushrooms and spinach, and finished with MontAmore cheese and parsley. Or, try the Cauliflower Rigatoni Fresca with Shrimp, which adds shrimp sauteed with balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, roasted garlic, red onion, tomato and spinach, topped with Parmesan.

Check out the restaurant's online nutrition calculator so you can find something healthy and tasty for everyone in the family, even those with various dietary needs. For the busy school days that turn into even busier nights, you can order online using the Noodles Rewards app for easy pickup at the Quick Pickup counter and skip the in-restaurant line altogether.

Cooking plant-based meals doesn't have to mean sacrificing flavor or convenience. A little creativity can go a long way toward boosting the taste and nutritional content of your family's meals. Check out noodles.com for a look at options for both dining in and taking out more delicious plant-based meals.

Pick a flavor profile

No matter what veggies and protein you use, with a clear flavor profile in mind, you can add fresh herbs and spices that go well together. If you use tofu, keep in mind that it adopts any flavor you add to the dish.

  • Go Asian with flavors like soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and scallions.
  • Make it Italian with garlic, oregano, basil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
  • Enjoy Mexican? Add cayenne or jalapenos, chili powder and onion, plus cilantro and lime juice.
  • For a Middle Eastern touch, use black pepper, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg and paprika.
  • Add a taste of India with cumin, curry, turmeric, coriander or garam masala.
  • Reference classic French flavors using basil, bay leaves, marjoram, thyme, tarragon and sage.

Taste your dishes as you cook, and don't be afraid to add more kosher or sea salt, plus black pepper, to boost any dish with some added flavor.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Sunny
51°
Humidity: 40%
Winds: S at 5mph
Feels Like: 49°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 52°/Low 33°
A few clouds. Lows overnight in the low 30s.

wednesday

weather
High 54°/Low 38°
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the upper 30s.

thursday

weather
High 62°/Low 39°
Sunny. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the upper 30s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.